We wanted to share the best woodworking guides with you, whether you are a woodworker who is a pro or just starting. Getting started and quickly oriented may be what you need. You may be at an intermediate or advanced level but want to learn more about your craft. Our handy guide will provide you with all the information you need to be on your way.
The Criteria For How We Choose The Books
Our recommendations for woodworking publications are designed to give a balanced list of books that appeal to different skill levels and interests.
Our recommendations were based on the following criteria:
Relevance To Woodworking
The books recommended are specifically focused on woodworking, covering a range of topics such as tools and techniques. The books cover most woodworking topics in great depth.
The selected books are comprehensive and cover many aspects of woodworking. This ensures readers have a solid grasp of the art. They cover important woodworking topics in depth.
While some books are more suitable for intermediate or advanced woodworkers, the recommendations include titles tailored to beginners. These books offer step-by-step instructions, basic techniques explained, and advice for beginners.
Covering the Gamut of Expertise
This selection of books includes books by various authors who each offer their unique expertise and perspective on woodworking. The books allow readers to discover new techniques and explore various methods.
This list is anything but comprehensive. We’d be here all day if that were the case. We have chosen a few of the best woodworking books, which are well-respected by both amateurs and professionals. While some are not on the best-seller list, and some are not even written in the last ten years, they hold up even to this day.
- “Understanding Wood Finishing: How to Select and Apply the Right Finish” by Bob Flexner: The finishing details are some of the most rewarding. Learn to master application approaches.
- “The Unplugged Woodshop: Handcrafted Projects for the Home and Workshop” by Tom Fidgen: This book emphasizes hand-tool woodworking and offers a collection of projects suitable for beginners. Step-by-step instructions and valuable insights are provided for crafting handcrafted furniture and accessories using minimal tools and traditional techniques.
- “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: This book concentrates on woodworking using hand tools, with an emphasis on traditional techniques and abilities.
- “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: This book highlights using hand tools instead of power tools to explore woodworking. It also gets philosophical and talks about the mental state of woodworking.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: This book features several workbench design ideas, offering inspiration and guidance to woodworkers who are looking to build that perfect workbench. This book contains detailed plans and photos.
Must-Read Books for Novice Readers
While the books previously mentioned are valuable for beginners, a few other titles specifically cater to those new to woodworking, offering them tremendous help. Here are some additional recommendations.
- “The New Woodworker Handbook” by Tom Hintz: Written with beginners in mind, this book covers the fundamentals of woodworking tools, safety, and methods. It offers easy-to-follow instructions for simple projects, along with practical advice to help you get started.
- “Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship” by Peter Korn: This book focuses on the fundamental skills and techniques of woodworking, guiding beginners through various projects while emphasizing the importance of understanding and refining basic woodworking skills.
- “Woodworking for the Weekend: 20 Projects Using Reclaimed Timber” by Mark Griffiths: This book features a collection of weekend projects specifically designed for beginners. It includes step-by-step instructions, photographs, and tips for working with reclaimed wood, making it an excellent choice for those interested in sustainability and repurposing materials.
- “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Woodworking” by Reed Karen: This book is a user-friendly guide that thoroughly covers the fundamental aspects of woodworking. It takes the beginner through sample projects and provides ideas and plans to whet the appetite.
Nick Offerman’s Woodworking Book: A Notable Addition to the List
Actor Nick Offerman, best known for playing Ron Swanson, a character on the hit TV show “Parks and Recreation” has written a book called “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop.” In this book, Offerman shares his passion for woodworking and provides insights into his experiences at his woodworking shop. Within the pages of this book, Offerman not only discusses his woodworking projects but also shares valuable tips, techniques, and sprinkles in humorous anecdotes for an engaging reading experience. This unique book seamlessly weaves together a woodworking guide and a memoir, providing readers with a captivating glimpse into Offerman’s unwavering passion for craftsmanship and boundless creativity.
Woodworking On-the-Go: Pocket-Sized Books for Woodworkers
For woodworkers on the go, pocket-sized books on woodworking serve as convenient and portable references that can be easily accessed whenever needed. Compact woodworking books are known for their ability to deliver concise information and handy quick tips.
- “The Pocket Hole Drilling Jig Project Book” by Danny Proulx: This pocket-sized book focuses specifically on pocket hole joinery, a popular technique in woodworking. It will help you discover the wide variety of projects that utilize a pocket hole jig.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: Covering a diverse array of woodworking topics, this compact reference book encompasses all fundamental woodworking techniques.
While not as immersive as some of the other titles on our list, the handy guides provide lots of value in a compact size.
Whether you are a beginner taking your first steps into the world of woodworking or an experienced craftsman seeking new avenues of inspiration, this field is teeming with knowledge and creative ideas that are sure to ignite your imagination. Allow the recommended books in this guide to be your reliable companions on the path of woodworking, offering invaluable guidance, unwavering support, and a vast array of knowledge to enhance your skills and enrich your woodworking experience. If you have read this far, you clearly have a taste for this rewarding craft. So grab a copy of these books and enjoy a richer woodworking journey!